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Global tourism grows 5% over last year through August

Emerging economies lead the way

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Europe reported strong tourism growth during the first eight months of 2013.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Global tourism continued to grow steadily during the first eight months of 2013, according to the World Tourism Organization, which tallied an increase of 5 percent from January to August 2013 compared to the same period last year.

The best-performing regions were Europe, Asia and the Pacific and the Middle East. For the year to-date, tourist arrivals totaled 747 million worldwide, up 38 million from last year, when global tourist arrivals topped 1 billion for the first time ever.

International arrivals topped 125 million in both July and August, while in June the 100 million arrivals mark was exceeded for the first time. Continue reading

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Global tourism shines again in early 2013

BMX biking Breckenridge Colorado

A crowd of tourists watches a BMX bike demo in Breckenridge. Colorado. Bob Berwyn photo.

World travel up more than 4 percent through April

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Global tourism continues to grow at a rate outpacing nearly all other economic sectors. During the first four months of 2013, international tourist arrivals and departures increased by 4.3 percent over the same period in 2012, according to a mid season update from the UN’s World Tourism Organization.

The WTO tallied  298 million international tourists traveling worldwide between January and April, 12 million more than last year. Prospects for the current tourism peak season remain positive with some 435 million tourists expected to travel abroad in the May-August period. Continue reading

Colorado: Trade mission heads for Scandinavia

Colorado businesses are looking for trade prospects in Scandinavia.

Colorado businesses are looking for trade prospects in Scandinavia. Photo courtesy NASA.

Bioscience and IT companies look for prospects in an economically strong part of Europe

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Colorado business leaders are looking to strengthen ties with Scandinavia with some help from the state Office of Economic Development and International Trade, which will will lead a delegation of Colorado bioscience and IT companies to Denmark and Sweden from May 13-17, 2013.

Participating companies will meet with foreign partners who will help the companies sell their products and services to the region. Biomedical products are already a huge part of Colorado’s exports.

The trade mission will help the companies to increase their international sales, leading to job retention and creation in Colorado. Companies participating in the trade mission are AD RescueWear, Couragent Inc, DH2i Company and Swan Valley Medical. Continue reading

Colorado: Vail Resorts says mid-winter business rebounded

Major capital investments announced for upcoming seasons

Vail Resorts is talking up the Peak 6 expansion at Breckenridge as part of its capital investment plan for the coming season.

Vail Resorts is talking up the Peak 6 expansion at Breckenridge as part of its capital investment plan for the coming season.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — Vail Resorts said business bounced back after a slow start to the season, with some of the company’s resorts posting record business during the Christmas holiday period. VR’s net income climbed 30.5 percent, to $60.5 million in the second fiscal quarter compared to last season, with skier visits up 2.9 percent and mountain net revenue up by 9.5 percent.

“We are very pleased with our performance in the second quarter of fiscal 2013, which was notable for two distinct dynamics we experienced in the quarter,” VR CEO Rob Katz said this week during a call announcing the company’s second quarter earnings. “The first was our results through the middle of December, which were marked by unusually warm and dry weather in Colorado that limited the terrain we could open, leading to lower than expected results for our four Colorado resorts.  Continue reading

Colorado skier visits take another big hit

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An early season snow drought dampened skier visits in Colorado. Bob Berwyn photo.

Ski resort trade group reports early season double-digit drop for the second year in a row

By Bob Berwyn

FRISCO — For the second year in a row, Colorado ski areas were hit hard by a lack of early season snow, as skier visits dipped 11.5 percent for the period spanning opening day to Dec. 31. Last winter, the state’s ski resort association reported that visits dropped 10 percent from the year before that.

Variable snow conditions and some late openings were factors in the decline, according to Colorado Ski Country USA president and CEO Melanie Mills.

“First period is largely fueled by in-state visitors, and an unseasonably warm October and November kept many Coloradans from tallying lots of ski days,” Mills said. “Snow did not arrive in earnest until mid-December, but when it came, it was in time for in-state and out-of-state guests to enjoy wonderful wintery holidays at resorts.” Continue reading

Insurance industry tunes into global warming risks

Big business keenly aware of potential climate change costs

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November 2012 was another very warm month for much of the planet. Graphic courtesy NASA.

By Summit Voice

FRISCO — In a sure sign that the global warming denial movement is losing ground quickly, some of the world’s most calculating businesses, including the insurance industry, are paying more and more attention to climate change.

In the long run, the political bickering over climate policy may not seem so important if the country’s largest companies start to take the issue seriously. Proof that climate is more than just a theoretical concept for corporations comes from a study published last week in the journal Science.

“Weather- and climate-related insurance losses today average $50 billion a year. These losses have more than doubled each decade since the 1980s, adjusted for inflation,” said lead author Evan Mills, a scientist in Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)’s Environmental Energy Technologies Division. “Insurers have become quite adept at quantifying and managing the risks of climate change, and using their market presence to drive broader societal efforts at mitigation and adaptation.” Continue reading

Skiing: Winter reservations up in Breckenridge

Lodging community recaps strong summer performance

Winter reservations in Breckenridge are pacing ahead of last winter.

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — Tourism in the high country continues to climb back from the deep  recession, with the Breckenridge Chamber reporting that 2012 summer occupancy and average room rates both climbed in tandem for the first time since 2008.

For now, Breckenridge is outpacing some other resorts in terms of winter reservations, 16 percent ahead of last year at this time, according to Scott Fortner, marketing director for the Breckenridge Resort Chamber.

Fortner said the encouraging trend can partly be attributed to the town’s status as a mature resort that offers plenty of activities along with skiing and snowboarding. Group business has also been increasing, which helps push occupancy rates up, he said. Continue reading

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